04 September 2010


Japanese pens are well renown by the quality of their nibs, and quite rightly so although with some exceptions I will speak about in a near future. However, it seems that this devotion for the nibs –some say— has the price of not paying much attention to the filling systems.

Most Japanese pens use the very convenient and simple system of the cartridge and converter. But for many stylophiles, this system is simply not good enough. This system, they argue, eliminates the ritual of filling the pen with ink; something that some enthusiasts consider a very important element in the pleasure of using a fountain pen.

Limited edition of the first Realo. On the cap, the number of the pen, the 424 over a total of 500, can be seen.

Sailor’s market strategy includes the Realo model—a piston filler based on the Profit and Professional Gear models. However, the first Realo was a limited edition of 500 units based on their biggest pen—the King of Pen. It commemorated the 95th anniversary of the company in 2006.

The ring with the inscription on the 95th anniversary of Sailor.

Only afterwards, upon seeing the success of the self-filling system, Sailor created the more affordable Realo we now see in the catalog and in the shops. But the differences between these two pens are… a bit sad. If only, because the original King of Pen Realo is very difficult to find nowadays.

A comparison between the current Realo and the original limited edition. Note the differences in the ink windows—those in the original Realo are similar to the Montblanc 149 windows. The difference in the nib size is remarkable.

I had the chance to take these pictures on the last Wagner Pen Clinic. My thanks to Mr. Noguchi.

(Pilot Custom 74 with music nib – Sailor Red Brown)

Bruno Taut
(Inagi, September 2, 2010)
[labels: Sailor, evento, Japón]

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